Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seeding indigo for June harvest

Some of you have asked what I have been doing with my time. This is the best way to show you the work I have been doing at the farm. Many of the plants on the farm can be sewn directly into the soil but the indigo is sewn first in beds and then transplanted after aboout 2 months to the fields. There are two different varieties of indigo grown on the farm. Both can be harvested about 2 to 3 times a year and must be replanted every 2 to 3 years. The bottom picture is of the seed pods on the indigo bush. For the past few weeks I have been helping form the beds and sew the indigo.

Construction on the House in Suchitoto

This is the house where I will be living in Suchitoto. It is currently under construction but should be finished in the next two weeks. The top pictures are of the patio, bathroom and kitchen. The bottom picture is my bedroom. I have been painting lots but it is a different story painting concrete instead of plaster. It will be a great home with the doors wide open for visitors. I will send pictures of the finished product in a few weeks.

Weekend at the Beach

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Here is a link to some pictures from a weekend at the beach. The beaches close to where we stayed are famous for surfing. We chose to be lazy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Plants at Los Nacimientos

The most successful and widely exported plant on the farm is indigo. There is also marinon, known as the cashew tree to many of us. El Salvadorians use the fruit of the cashew tree much more than the nut itself. At Los Nacimientos they produce jelly, syrup, vinegar and wine from the fruit of the cashew tree and dried hisbiscus flower. Other crops include noni, achote, bananas, hibiscus flower, lemongrass and terberinto. Noni is currently used for medicinal purposes in the form of a juice and has been known to cure cancer. The seeds of achote are used to color and flavor food. The farm uses the lemongrass for essential oils. Teberinto comes from India and is used for many things but my favorite is that the seeds can be used to make potable water. Don't ask me how.

Los Nacimientos

Los Nacimientos is the name of the farm that I work on in El Salvador. It is located 45 minutes from San Salvador and 25 minutes from the small town of Suchitoto- where I live. The farm is one of the few certified organic farms in the country. In English, the name of the farm means "the springs" because the entire farm has underground water springs from which they water the crops. This is the original hacienda house but is currently used only for farming purposes. There is no electricity but it does have running water and toilets!